• Ben Lee

New Releases: 2nd October 2020

Ben brings you all the new releases to grace The Vinyl Whistle this week, pop into the Headingley store to get your copy or order online on the links below. Here's his roundup of his Top 5 Picks of the week:

Fontaines DC - A Hero's Death / I Don't Belong

This limited 7" single release features the album's title track 'A Hero's Death' with the B-side track 'I Don't Belong' also featured on the album. The catchy lyrics of the A-side convey the much drearier feel and mood of the album, whilst the B-side captures their usual energy and raucous atmosphere they generate live.

Hot Chip - Late Night Tales

UK electronic artpop outfit Hot Chip provide the perfect antidote to these strange and uncertain times with a euphoric and melancholic selection. Hot Chip’s ‘LateNightTales’ opens with the simplistic beauty of Christina Vantzou’s ‘At Dawn,’ before morphing in to the first of four exclusive tracks from the band - the floating, transcendent ‘Nothing’s Changed’, before Rhythm & Sound ft. Cornell Campbell serve up the heavy dub classic, ‘King In My Empire’.

The journey continues with Pale Blue’s ‘Have You Passed Through This Night’, a silky, cold wave disco track, while Suzanne Kraft’s ‘Femme Cosmic’ and Fever Ray’s ‘To The Moon and Back’ provide squelchy synth-pop. Furthermore, the punchy ‘Much To Touch’ from Bolton-born, Berlin based producer Planningtorock and an ethereal cover of Velvet Underground’s ‘Candy Says’ by our hosts add an element of displacement and detachment. Elsewhere, other highlights include an appearance from synth-pop auteur Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith with ‘Who I Am & Why I Am Where’ and new material from Alexis’ ‘other’ band, the improv-mavens About Group, along with the adventurous ‘Workaround Two’ from electronic experimentalist Beatrice Dillon and German composer, Nils Frahm’s beautifully evocative ‘Ode’. But it is left to Alexis’ father to have the final word, with an elegant excerpt from the daring ‘Finnegans Wake’ by James Joyce.

The Jaded Hearts Club - You've Always Been Here

The Jaded Hearts Club features frontmen Miles Kane (The Last Shadow Puppets) and Nic Cester (Jet), guitarists Graham Coxon (Blur) and Jamie Davis (Transcopic), Matt Bellamy (Muse) on bass and drummer Sean Payne (The Zutons). The supergroup formed in 2017, as they focus on lost Northern Soul classics, supplemented by their raw, soulful takes on some famous standards. Expect a rock'n'roll snarl and fuzziness to classics 'I Put A Spell On You' and 'Reach Out I'll Be There'.

Davis says “We just love the story of how Northern England fell in love with American soul music even after it stopped having hits, and used that music to soundtrack a good night out.” Adds Bellamy “Like Jazz which reinvents old songs, we are continuing the tradition of how bands like The Beatles & The Stones started out - finding great soul and blues standards and recording them in a more modern style.”

Nightmares on Wax - Smokers Delight: Sonic Buds

Marking 25 years of the seminal Smokers Delight, Nightmares on Wax celebrates with a full reissue of the album plus these new tracks - 'Let’s Ascend' and 'Aquaself'. The former is an electro-jazz-funk groover whilst the latter features some ethereal strings floating above the deep bassline. This release is now seen for the first time on vinyl as Sonic Buds alongside an alternative Funk Mix of 'Dreddoverboard'.

Working Men's Club - Working Men's Club

A rumble on the horizon. Gritted teeth, nuclear fizz and fissured rock. A dab of pill dust from a linty pocket before it hits: the atom split, pool table overturned, pint glass smashed — valley fever breaking with the clouds as the inertia of small town life is well and truly disrupted. Here to bust out of Doledrum, clad in a t-shirt that screams Socialism and armed with drum machine, synth, pedal and icy stare are Working Men’s Club, and their self-titled debut album.

Their eponymous collection of songs is equal parts Calder Valley restlessness and raw Sheffield steel; guitars locking horns with floor-filling beats, synths masquerading as drums and Minsky-Sargeant’s scratchy, electrifying bedroom demos brought to their full potential by Orton’s blade-sharp yet sensitive production.

Standouts include the nonchalant existential groove John Cooper Clarke — centred around the realisation that yes, even the luckiest guy alive, the Bard of Salford himself, will someday die. The washily-vocalled, Orange Juicily-guitared White Rooms and People, Cook A Coffee which is like a lost Joy Division number from an alternate universe and the frenetic, pew-pewing A.A.A.A.

All formats come with a bonus CD Megamix.

Here are the rest of the new releases arriving at The Vinyl Whistle this week:

Aloe Blacc - All Love Everything

Aloe Blacc isn’t defined by genre. The album fulfills Blacc’s ambition to express the richness of familial love on songs like Glory Days and Family, while also making room for anthems about perseverance and support like My Way and Corner. Working with producers Jonas Jeberg, Jugglerz, Jon Levine, and Matt Prime, Blacc has crafted his most open-hearted album to date. Generous and warm, All Love Everything draws on soul, folk, and contemporary pop, reminding listeners that there’s no pigeonholing the human experience.

Anohni - It's All over Now, Baby Blue b/w Be My Husband

These songs mark Anohni’s first new music since the 2019 charity single Karma, a collaboration with Jade Bell and J. Ralph. They are It’s All over Now, Baby Blue - a cover of Bob Dylan’s 1965 folk song influenced by Symbolist poetry and Be My Husband - a cover of Nina Simone’s soulful 1965 song written by Andy Stroud. A viscous embrace, a pulsating pouring out, Anohni’s voice is above all else a vessel for political armament. The original tracks dating to 1965, a year marked by the Selma marches, the Watts Rebellion, and the landmark Voting Rights Act, illuminate the eerily parallel struggles of this year. In borrowing these songs, Anohni adopts their history along with her contemporary interpretations, respecting the lineage of the people’s movement while calling for its continuance today.

The Boys Next Door - Door, Door (RSD 2020)

40th Anniversary reissue of the first album featuring Nick Cave, before the band’s name morphed into The Birthday Party and prior to the formation of his next band, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Includes the classic Shivers, which has recently been covered by the likes of Cat Power and Courtney Barnett, to name a few.

Death Valley Girls - Under The Spell Of Joy

Under the Spell of Joy is a space-gospel record. While singer and multi-instrumentalist Bonnie Bloomgarden and guitarist Larry Schemel knew their intention for the album before a single note was written, the actual nature and direction of the music was a mystery. The initial inspiration for the record came from the jubilant spirit of Ethiopian funk records the band had been listening to on tour, but once they began to channel the songs it seemed like the music came from somewhere not in the past but in the future. In the weeks leading up to recording, Death Valley Girls relied on their subconscious and effortlessly conjured Under the Spell of Joy’s eleven tracks as if they’d tapped into the Akashic Chronicle and pulled the music from the ether.

Lana Del Rey - Violet Bent Backwards Over The Grass

Lana Del Rey reads fourteen select poems from her upcoming debut poetry book Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass accompanied by music from frequent collaborator, Grammy Award-winning musician Jack Antonoff.

Gabriel Garzon-Montano - Agüita

This will come as no surprise to those who’ve followed Gabriel since 2014’s Bishouné: Alma Del Huila, the critically-lauded, self-produced EP that put him on the map. Agüita, his first release for Jagjaguwar, is a sequence of impossibly diverse offerings ranging from trap anthems to string-drenched art pop ballads – a prismatic self-portrait, personal and universal all at once. The magic of Agüita lives in Gabriel’s ability to consolidate a range of truths into a focused, crystallized idea.

Hello Forever - Whatever It Is

Rough Trade Records release the debut album by Californian group Hello Forever. Based in Topanga, California, the band live together in a pastoral setting high above the Pacific Ocean – not far from where Neil Young recorded After the Gold Rush or Captain Beefheart laid down the tracks for Trout Mask Replica, the group forever expanding and contracting, with members coming and going as they please. They fuse elements of the 60s West Coast sound with a DIY approach to music and creativity. Samuel Joseph and company have created a contemporary throwback to a vibrant era with a set of songs that establish the collective’s exquisite harmonies and colourful instrumentation.

Jonsi - Shiver

Shiver is the exciting and beautiful second record from LA-based Icelandic musician Jónsi, featuring tracks with Liz Fraser from Cocteau Twins and pop icon Robyn - it's released on Sigur Rós’ own label Krunk. Not too long ago Jónsi was traveling through London, where he met up with iconoclastic producer A.G. Cook, who he admired for his boundary-breaking work with the PC music collective. Jónsi had made a career on sweeping music that plumbed the depths of the human experience and our connection to the natural world. Cook’s production exists at the opposite end of the spectrum: synthetic, sometimes abrasive, and often on the cutting edge of experimentalism. On paper, their collaboration is surprising, but Shiver is a beautiful record that pushes Jónsi’s otherworldly voice into startling new territories.

Anna Meredith - Varmints

The follow-up to 2012's Black Prince Fury EP, and 2013's Jet Black Raider EP, Scottish composer Anna Meredith's debut full length Varmints is released via Moshi Moshi. Varmints is grand in its own way, a record of unusual scope and power, perfectly blending Meredith's love of big brush strokes with her eye for the devastating detail. Meredith manages to cloak high-minded experimentalism in playful pop sensibilty. "Pacing is a physical thing," she explains. "I can feel when stuff has to happen in a track. I knew I wanted Varmints to end privately but start confidently, have moments of privacy and moments of power and build'.

New Order - Blue Monday